Pune: Three-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto Ltd said on Wednesday that it was creating a new segment of three-wheeler goods carriers with a load capacity of 600kg. Priced at Rs103,686 (ex-showroom in Pune), the RE600 has been designed to carry light goods within cities and will compete with Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd’s Ape and other three-wheeler goods carriers.
The company’s research shows that at least 50% of the buyers of a goods carrier use not more than half of its capacity, and this is the category that Bajaj Auto is targeting with the RE600, said managing director Rajiv Bajaj.
“We are going back to our roots,” said Bajaj, adding that the company would capitalize on its strengths in intra-city passenger and goods transportation by offering more fuel-efficient and price-competitive products from the RE platform in the coming months.
Reviving demand: Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj (right) and chief executive (commercial vehicle business) R.C. Maheshawari with the RE600 during its launch in Pune on Wednesday. PTI
Bajaj Auto, the world’s largest manufacturer of three-wheelers, has been facing increasing competition in passenger and cargo segments from smaller rivals such as Piaggio and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd.
In the 11 months to April, Bajaj’s market share declined from around 43% to 38%, but rose in the five months to August to 40.81%.
Bajaj Auto has been selling 25,000-30,000 three-wheelers a month and is currently in the process of increasing capacity at its Aurangabad facility to 35,000 units per month. It exports 50% of its output to South Asian and South-East Asian countries.
R.C. Maheshawari, chief executive (commercial vehicle business), said that an aggressive marketing and selling initiative and greater understanding of city-specific requirements had helped spur sales.